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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fish and Chips

There's nothing better than a rainy cold night, watching Doctor Who and eating fish and chips. Unfortunately, what passes for fish and chips around here, is not real good. So the solution is to make your own.

I did a lot of searching to find recipes that replicate what you can get from fish and chip shops back in Australia.

So, with that said, here's what I had.


200g Russet potatoes per person
Deep fryer with peanut oil


1. Peel your potatoes, then for thick-cut chips, cut into ½ inch slices then slice these into ½ inch wide chips. For shoestring style, cut into ¼ inch slices, then slice these ¼ inch thick.

2. Wash the chips in water then drain on kitchen paper.

3. Place the chips in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and gently simmer for a couple minutes for shoestring and about 10 minutes for thick cut. Drain in a colander and leave to cool.

4. Pre-heat oil to 250°F (120C), or as low as you can go, in a deep fryer. Blanch your chips two or three handfuls at a time until they are soft but not coloured, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain. You can store the chips in this state in the fridge for up to a couple of days.

5. To serve the chips, re-fry them in hot oil 375°F (190C) until they are crisp, season lightly and serve immediately.

Of course, you HAVE to have chips with chicken salt.

Next, the fish. The batter I used for this is pretty much exactly the same as you'd get from any take-a-way shop. (I'm a bit of a traditionalist.) I've tried beer batter and using soda water to "lighten" it up, but if I wanted to eat tempura, then I'd make tempura. 

The fish doesn't come out greasy at all and I'll tell you why...when you deep fry it in a batter, the batter is what gets fried by the oil and acts like a barrier so the fish actually steams inside the batter.

Also, if you don't have self-raising flour, you can "make" it by adding 2 teaspoons of baking powder to 1 cup of plain (all purpose) flour.

4 x fish fillets (any white flesh fish) completely thawed if frozen!!
Plain flour
Salt and Pepper

For the batter:
4 oz (110 g) self-raising flour
½ teaspoon salt
5 fl oz (150 ml) water, plus 1 scant tablespoon

Preheat the deep fryer to 375°F (
190°C). Or 1/3 fill a deep saucepan with vegetable oil and place over a medium heat.
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl, then gradually add the water, whisking continuously until the batter is smooth and free from lumps. Or, if you want to use a blender, add liquid, then dry ingredients and blend until smooth.
The batter is the right consistency when, if a finger is drawn across the back of a spoon coated in the batter, a sharp decisive trail is left behind.
Check the batter seasoning and adjust to taste with salt and pepper.

To deep fry:
Liberally dust each fillet of fish in the prepared flour.
Lift each fillet from the flour and lower into the batter, ensuring each fillet is generously coated.
Gently lower the fish into the oil (gently to avoid any splash!).
Leave the fish to cook for 3-5 minutes depending on size.
As the fish cooks the batter will darken in colour and when each fish is nearly cooked it will rise to float on the oil's surface.
Remove the fish from the oil with the fryer basket or a slotted spoon.
Place the fish on a wire rack to drain.
Sprinkle a little salt across each fillet to soak up any excess oil.

Where you went wrong:
No rise in the batter when cooked: The cooking oil wasn't hot enough
The fish cooks slowly and remains soggy: The cooking oil was not hot enough
The batter falls off when cooked: The fish was not liberally coated in flour / or the fish was pre frozen and not defrosted properly before cooking / the batter was too thin.
Too thin: Add more flour and whisk through.
Too thick: Add a little water.
Too bland: Add salt, pepper or lemon juice.

As you can see from the pictures above, I also made some crab sticks and had a bash at Dim Sims. The dim sims didn't come out too good but here is the recipe for them anyway. BTW, dim sims were invented in Australia by a Chinese's a wiki on the subject:

1 packet Wanton wrappers
1 lb Pork mince
1 finely chopped onion
1/4 finely chopped Chinese cabbage
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
2 tbsp fresh coriander
1 tbsp soy sauce

Combine pork mince with onion, cabbage, garlic, coriander, ginger and soy sauce in a bowl, then place spoonfuls of mixture in wanton wrappers and wrap up.
Place in pre-heated deep fryer until golden brown or steam until wrapper is almost translucent.
Note that steaming takes a little bit longer to cook the meat than deep frying.
I think that mine were way too big, so the inside didn't cook before the outside was too cooked. I have made them successfully once before, so I might have to give it another go.
Hope you have a go at really does taste good and pretty authentic.



1 comment:

  1. Will try the chips that way next time Matty! Never thought of doing the crab sticks or dim sims tho!

    They look very yummy!